A few weeks ago, I received an invitation to attend my 15-year high school class reunion.
I’m still not 100 percent decided on whether or not I’ll be attending but the invite did manage to get me into a bit of a nostalgic mood; a mood that eventually got me thinking about the movies that were brand new when I was still in class. And, just for the heck of it, I decided to sit down and pick out the 20 best from that time period (fall of 1990 through the early part of June 1994); both movies that had some sort of major influence and movies that I simply love to watch.
The movies are listed in order of their release.
Misery (November, 1990) – When it comes to thrillers, this is easily one of my favorites. You have Kathy Bates as an obsessed romance novel fan who holds her favorite author (played by James Caan) hostage in an effort to bring her favorite character back to life. I still cringe whenever I see her break Caan’s ankles with a sledgehammer.
Edward Scissorhands (Dec. 1990) – OK, I mention this movie and the first thing people will think of is Johnny Depp as an unfinished creation with scissors for hands. And, I’ll admit, he was pretty darned good in it. But, I’m a huge Vincent Price fan and it’s primarily making my list because it happened to be his last film appearance.
Silence of the Lambs (August 1991) – I still can’t watch Anthony Hopkins in a movie without having flashbacks to his role of the cannibal Hannibal Lecter. Most people I talk to don’t even remember that was Monk actor Ted Levine putting together a great performance as “Buffalo Bill” Gumb.
JFK (December 1991) – I’ve never been a person who has bought into conspiracy theories. But, I have to admit this movie (which points to alternate possibilities in the Kennedy assassination) got me wondering a bit. My favorite memory of the film is the Seinfeld parody that aired a year later (the one that involves Keith Hernandez and the “magic loogie”).
Wayne’s World (February 1992) – Before he was making Shrek or Austin Powers, actor Mike Myers was bringing his Saturday Night Live character Wayne Campbell to the big screen. The plot was simple yet funny and the movie had everyone from Myers and Dana Carvey to Rob Lowe, Lara Flynn Boyle, Chris Farley, Alice Cooper and Meat Loaf.
A Few Good Men (Dec. 1992) – Some people I’ve talked to actually didn’t like this movie. But, I grew up an Army brat so I’ve always gotten a kick from military movies like this one. It doesn’t hurt that the cast includes veteran actors like Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon and Kiefer Sutherland.
Scent of a Woman (December 1992) – Al Pacino is a heck of an actor and I still put this movie, about a blind Army officer and the prep student (Chris O’Donnell) who is hired as his assistant, among his best roles. The scene where he wants to commit suicide is one of the most intense I’ve seen.
Aladdin (November 1992) – Robin Williams (who was the voice of the Genie) made the movie. But, the character I actually like in this film is the Princess Jasmine; the first Disney Princess who actually does something other than wear pretty dresses and hope to marry a prince. That’s a character I want my daughters to look up to.
Jurassic Park (June 1993) – Prior to this film coming out, the only dinosaurs I saw in movies were so fake they just didn’t seem scary. This was the first film to actually make me glad they aren’t roaming the Earth any more.
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (Feb. 1994) – I know there will be many who will disagree and, I’ll admit, I had to bump some pretty decent movies off my list to fit this one into the top 10. But, Jim Carrey is genuinely funny, you have a unique plot and you have Dan Marino in one of the better cameos I’ve seen.
Movies that didn’t make my top 10 but probably could have: City Slickers (June 1991), Hot Shots (July 1991), Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (July 1991), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (June 1991), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (July 1992), In the Line of Fire (July 1993), Basic Instinct (March 1992), A League of their Own (July 1992), Sister Act (May 1992) and Medicine Man (February 1992).